Yesterday Byron and I stopped by Dahon’s HQ office in Taipei. As the world’s foremost manufacturer of folding bikes, Dahon keeps a tidy space with a few rows of desks, a meeting room, and a prominent showroom of innovative bikes. After being greeted by some of their staff, we all grabbed some bikes and hit the river bike path.
During Interbike, we talked at length with Dahon about Taipei’s Bike Boom and saw it today. A year ago, when we rode the the river bike paths, we saw handful of cyclist, including us. Today, there were bike traffic jams, bike pit stops, and a steady stream of bikes in both directions. Sometimes crazy bikes; often fully-kitted-out, euro-style cyclists on folding bikes; all of them having a good time. We saw more Dahons that I could count, KHS, Giant, Birdy, one Brompton, and some unknown brands. The adage “build it and they will come” applies in Taipei and the bike boom is directly attributed to the City spending millions of bike paths and infrastructure.